Welcome to another edition of From the Boardroom and as I write this it is hard to believe that it is already 2010. The past year at the Co-operative has been one of consolidation and planning for the future and I am happy to report, that as a result of the initiatives that have been put in place over the last 18 months, that the Co-operative, after a couple of years of restructuring and investment in services, has been operating profitably now for some seven months.
We are proud to announce that last month EAC was named in the inaugural Australia’s Top 100 Co-operatives, Credit Unions and Mutuals by Annual Turnover published by Co-operatives Australia on behalf of the Co-operative Federation of NSW. I have also been asked to present at Co-operative Opportunities Conference at the Sydney University Village in February 2010 and will be talking about “Changing the co-op to meet a competitive environment” where I will detail the changes that I have put in place over the past few years at EAC.
Many of the distractions that we have had over the past few years are behind us now and next year will see the rollout of several new products and services on both the EAC and realestateworld.com.au fronts.
For those that are not aware we are currently defending an investigation by the ACCC. This investigation arises from a decision by the REINSW to seek a determination from the ACCC as to whether the joint venture agreement between it and EAC for the provision of printed and electronic real estate forms, was in breach of the Trade Practices Act. It is the Co-operative’s view that the REINSW has taken this course of action in an effort to extract itself from an agreement it was previously happy to enter into.
EAC continues to perform its obligations under the agreement so the dispute does not affect EAC Members, REINSW Members or the Industry. We continue to co-operate with the ACCC in an attempt to settle the matter as soon as possible, and the matter has to date forced the Co-operative to incur significant legal costs.
In 2010 the focus will continue to be on the delivery of tangible goods and services to assist our members and the industry for which we exist. Some of the new things to look out for in 2010 include:
- As a result of the success of realestateworld.com.au which is now our new consumer brand, we have developed a new eac.com.au web site that will now become purely agent centric and will provide a single place where members and agents can find out anything they want to know about EAC.
- A fresh new design for the realestateworld.com.au site with many new features including Consumer Reports and, as a result of demand, Agent orientated banner advertising which will be available at suburb level.
- More additions to Red Square 7 including new CMA and Buyer Tour features as well as a new web based Mapping module with some very nice features and several other enhancements to the Red Square product.
- The reintroduction of our Agency Practice Support service whereby EAC Members will be able to call and obtain advice on many of the issues that real estate practioners face in the day to day operation of their business such as agency agreements, commission claims, compliance and questions in relation to vendors, purchasers, landlords and tenants.
- The introduction of a new Insurance Service as a result of EAC endorsing OAMPS Insurance Brokers as their preferred suppliers of insurance services, expertise and risk management. OAMPS offers an insurance solution that is superior to those available from the rest of the market. They pride themselves on getting closer to clients through specialising – providing specifically designed protection packages. Next time your insurance is up for renewal – let OAMPS Insurance Brokers provide you with an obligation free quote.
Innovation continues to be a driving force in the Cooperative and today the Co-operative provides a diverse range of products and services. While a large number members are taking advantage of many of
the services that we provide and are reaping the benefits I believe there are still many that do not fully understand what we can actually offer.
Take a look at the new eac.com.au web site and you will find that EAC provides many goods and services required for the day to day operation of your business that provide tangible benefits and I ask that if you have any questions about any of these services that you contact us or your designated Account Manager.
On an end note I would like to personally thank you for your continued support over the past year and wish you a prosperous 2010 in which we will endeavour once again to provide you with the best possible level of service and support.